Gardening: Friend or Foe to Nature

I want to say right up front that I have no idea where this particular post is going (and I say this as if I ever know where any of my posts are going) but I figured I would be up front for this one. I just need to get this train of thought down on a track.

A few days ago, Billy Joe Kini left me a comment on a post I did several months ago. He berated my removal of some insidious quackgrass from a flower bed.

What’s wrong with quackgrass? It sounds like it’s a pretty beneficial species to have growing, as it can be used as a medicinal herb, aids in digestion for other mammals, and is a food source for caterpillars (according to the link you gave). You’re replacing all that with… flowers? Are the species of flower you’re planting beneficial to the local food chain? Or do you just prefer them because they look pretty?

He brings up an age old debate in gardening. So many of us will go on and on about the environment and unity with nature, but fact is by definition gardening is not a unity with nature but a conquering of nature. If prostitution can be counted as the oldest profession than gardening is most likely the oldest pastime.

We humans enjoy molding things out to our liking. I think it is part of our genes. While we can enjoy the grace of real nature, we take more pride in outdoing her at her own game.

Yeah, so… I prefer flowers. No, I have no idea if the flowers I plant are beneficial nor, frankly, do I care. Is that so bad?

Gardening certainly isn’t as bad some other hobbies. I don’t go wrestling poor alligators or polluting the sky with planes just so I can jump out of them. Gardening’s an honest hobby.

But like lawyering is an honest job, it doesn’t mean that what we do always the right thing to do… or the wrong thing. It is just what we do, is all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge